Frequently Asked Questions
Although our liturgy at Christ Covenant is deeply rooted in historical church practice, depending on your background, you may encounter aspects of our worship that raise questions. The answers below are by no means intended to be comprehensive treatments of the questions raised, but we hope you will find them helpful as a starting point. (In some cases, we have also provided references for additional reading.)
Why do you sing so many psalms?
The Psalms were the original songbook of the Church, and the appearance of uninspired hymns within the Church’s liturgy came much later. While we are not advocates of “exclusive psalmnody” (i.e. refusing to sing anything other than biblical Psalms), we do insist that the Psalms provide an inspired norm that ought to shape our singing — and that cannot happen without singing them frequently.
Why do you baptize babies?
Some say that infants should not be baptized because they cannot believe, and anyway, since they are born innocent, they don’t need anything.
The Bible, however, tells us we are not born innocent — we are conceived in sin and born in iniquity (Psalm 51:5), and all sinned through Adam (Romans 5:12; cf Romans 3:23).
But just as sin and guilt are real before we can see much in the way of their active expression, so too it is with faith. When believing parents brought their little ones to Christ for his blessing, he said, “of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Since the kingdom of heaven is defined by faith, we are thus taught to treat our children as believers.
God’s grace is the foundation of our believing response and brings our little ones into the covenant promises before they can look for them. Just as under the old covenant, male Israelites were circumcised at eight days old as their entrance into full access to God’s worship, so likewise the new covenant entrance marker of baptism is to be applied to our little ones. As Peter says, just as under the old covenant, the gospel promise is “to you and to your children” (Acts 2:39).
For a more detailed treatment of this subject, please see Tim Gallant’s paper here as well as Rich Lusk’s book, Paedofaith.
Why do you celebrate the Lord’s Supper every week?
The Supper is not merely an intellectual object lesson for our brains to interpret; it is a practical action through which Christ binds us to himself and one another (1 Corinthians 10:16–17).
In the early Church, the regular gathering of the church was for the stated purpose of “breaking bread” — observing the Lord’s Supper. (See Acts 20:7; compare 1 Corinthians 11:18, 20.) It is thus an integral part of biblical worship.
Why do you use wine in the Lord’s Supper?
Because Jesus instituted the meal with bread and wine, not with (say) cookies and grape juice. (In fact, grape juice was not a viable beverage until the 1800s.) It was the Lord himself who created high quality wine from water at Cana. Tinkering with what wine is alters the meaning of the rite, and we want to retain the Lord’s Supper as Christ instituted, so far as we are able.
For more information on this subject, please see this article.
(Note: At Christ Covenant, we do provide grape juice for those who have an actual allergy to wine. This is not because we think that grape juice is a legitimate substitute, but because we want all members to be able to participate in the corporate action.)
Why do you give the Lord’s Supper to small children?
We believe that the children of believers are believers and are just as much a part of the body of Christ as are adults. (See the answer to “Why do you baptize babies,” above.)
Moreover, Paul tells us that because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, because we partake of the one bread (1 Corinthians 10:17). This indicates that the body and the Supper are intended to be coextensive.
To learn more about the practice of communing baptized children, see this web site or read Tim Gallant’s book, Feed My Lambs.
Why don’t you have special music?
We are blessed with an abundance of musicians in our church, and are very thankful for them. We do not, however, have a place in our worship services for what is frequently called “special music” (although we love to have it in our other activities, such as Christmas programs etc).
This is because we believe that Lord’s Day worship is an encounter between God and his people, and the people’s response should be congregation-wide. Performing and entertainment are valid activities, but Lord’s Day worship is reserved for actions of God and of his people together. God does not call us into worship to be spectators, but to participate with him in mutual communion.
What is your affiliation?
Christ Covenant is currently unaffiliated. We were members of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC) for about a decade, and maintain a close relationship with our nearest CREC neighbour church, Trinity Covenant in Fort St John, BC. We are still considering affiliation options, and do not consider complete independence ideal.